Yesterday I got around to looking up an old book on the internet. Who remembers The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop? I read that years ago when I was at Baptist Bible College in the early nineties. That was also the time I read Jack Chick’s comics about Alberto, the pretended Jesuit infiltrator of Protestant churches who got a chance to study the secret Vatican archives to learn that the Roman Catholic Church was the focus of all evil in the entire history of the world, after it took the baton from the religions of ancient Egypt, Babylon and the ambitious folks at the Tower of Babel. All of the above is good reading for those who like looking for a demon behind every rock, because if you do read that stuff and believe it, that is what it will do to your brain. (The material at the links above will serve you better.) I even refused to have my son born in the local Roman Catholic hospital in Springfield, Missouri, even though I was told it was a superior hospital to the one in which my son was born, for the specific reason that there must be crucifixes hanging on the walls in that God-forsaken place.
But I digress.
One of the other books I read after this superstitious foundation was laid is called, Babylon Mystery Religion, by evangelist Ralph Woodrow. Woodrow did his best to document what he learned from the likes of Hislop and other biggote anti-Catholic fundamentalists. But what I learned yesterday while browsing the internet about this topic was that Woodrow was challenged on this issue, re-examined the documentation at the original source level, retracted his views, took his book out of print and wrote a new one which corrects the errors of this misadventure in anti-catholicism. It’s called The Babylon Connection? How refreshing it is to find someone who doesn’t stick to his guns no matter how wrong he is just because he’s got something in print from which he’s profiting.
It is right to differ with Roman Catholicism on many important theological, practical and ecclesiological grounds, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be slandered. Last I checked, I heard there was a law against it.
Benefits of Redemption’s Benefits
Q. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow
from justification, adoption and sanctification are,
assurance of God’s love,
peace of conscience,
joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 5:1-2,5),
increase of grace (Pro 4:18),
and perseverance therein to the end (1 Jn 5:13).
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
#708, The Trinity Hymnal
George Matheson, 1882
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.
O Light that follow’st all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
my heart restores its boorowed ray,
that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
may brighgter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.
Like many of you, I was startled to learn of Jerry Falwell’s sudden death yesterday. I didn’t follow his ministry all that closely, but being a Baptist Bible College dropout, I was certainly well aware of his existence.
You see, back in ’91, when my first wife and I moved up to Springfield, Missouri to study missions, my then-pastor told me that his father graduated in 1955, the same year that Jerry Falwell graduated from Baptist Bible College. In fact, I was told, when I get to the school, and go into the W. E. Dowell Fieldhouse, I should look for the framed class pictures. I don’t know about today, but back then they had pictures of all the graduates from 1950 to the present. Sure enough, I found Jerry’s picture, right next to my then-pastor’s dad’s class portrait.
Now, keep in mind that independent, fundamental Baptists organizing into what they called fellowships were their way of disassociating themselves from the Southern Baptist Convention, from which so many southern fundamentalists declared their independence. This detail will be important later. . .
After I dropped out the next year, and moved back home, I eventually joined a church that was not associated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship, or Baptist Bible College. It was not long thereafter that one of the banes of my existence became the seeming dyslexia which overcomes those who’ve heard of the Baptist Bible Fellowship and Baptist Bible College, but have also heard of churches that call themselves Bible Baptist Church. Whenever my then-new pastor would refer to my old fellowship or school (they came up a few times over the space of nine years), he couldn’t help but call it the “Bible Baptist Fellowship,” or “Bible Baptist College.” It wasn’t malicious on his part, but still this tendency simply would grab me by the spine and squeeze really hard! And he wasn’t the only person with this problem. In fact, most of the people I ran into who didn’t belong to the BBF or go to BBC, suffered from the same case of dyslexia. My way of “helping” my brethren remember the right order was to insist, “With Baptist Bible Fellowship, being Baptist comes before the Bible!” Sorry if my sarcastic humor offends you.
Well, anyway, now that Jerry Falwell has passed away, I was reading some of the write-ups on his life in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I found a nice little article under the heading of “Local Perspectives,” and read about local folks who either met or knew Jerry Falwell. The last of these episodes is the inspiration for this post. The article was entitled, “Falwell’s impact a point of debate.” Here’s the story:
“One unusual circumstance occurred in Fort Worth in 1982. A woman protesting his anti-abortion stance threw a pie at Falwell as he preached at a Bible Baptist Fellowship convention. (!) ‘He just took off his jacket and kept on preaching,’ one of Falwell’s assistants, told the Star-Telegram then. During Falwell’s closing prayer, he asked God to forgive the woman.” (emphsis added)
I give up.
With apologies to St. Augustine . . .
I got a letter in the mail today informing me of Modern Reformation’s new and improved website. There is a member side of the website for which you may register and enjoy more than you can as a nonmember. One of those perks is the entirety of every article in every issue of Modern Reformation magazine for the past several years.
A few weeks ago I blogged on the issue of Solo Scriptura. In that post, I included some excerpts of an article from the March/April 2007 issue, entitled, “Solo Scriptura: The Difference a Vowel Makes.” Back when I posted, I really wished that I could share with you the entire article without violating any copyright laws, and now I can! If you are interested in learning more about the historical devolution of the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura, then do yourself a favor and sign up for free and read, read, read!